This is an amusing video compilation of dogs stealing food from our dinner table, kitchen counters, stove tops. It’s just a habit left over from the ancestors’ days living in the wild, when they had to find food for themselves. If they see the food is available and accessible, they grab it. That’s how things worked back then when they weren’t living with humans. Maybe living with us hasn’t trained that habit out of them. So can we do anything about this behavior? Do we just laugh it off? Can we alter their behavior just enough so we can keep our leftover for lunch tomorrow? Josh Weiss-Roessler writes in Cesar’s Way on this very topic.
How to change a dog’s attitude toward food
He had a couple of suggestions. One of them is helping our dog to change an emotional state toward food. Dogs usually get excited about food. Look at all the tricks they are willing to learn for a treat. How can we use this same motivator to change their behavior so they don’t take leftover food from the dinner table? We train them to be calm around food instead of excited. Sounds impossible? Josh suggests that before you start to cook or start to eat, tell your dog to lie down and stay. Then reward her with a treat, or even some food from your plate. Over time, she will associate lying down and being calm with getting a treat. A slightly different version of this training is to have a designated “treat area”. Her own dog bed or a special rug where she gets treats. Continue this practice until she realizes that by going to her treat area when you cook or eat, she will get her treat. This said, you have to do your part of putting away leftover and not making it a temptation for your dog. After all, she is just doing what comes natural, even instinctual for her. You can read more about this topic here.
Article source: Josh Weiss-Roessler in Cesar’s Way